Christine Mailhiot

Communications Assistant


Whether you’re looking for things to do with your kids during the break, or just looking for a little inspiration to be active outdoors, this list is for you!

With 35 suggestions for hiking, snowshoeing, skating, skiing and many other activities to enjoy this winter in your #WinterCapital, you’re sure to find something that’s right for you! Which of these 35 activities will you try first?


Follow the public health directives in effect in your province, and read about our COVID-19 measures. Please be cautious and considerate at all times. Enjoy your outing!

  1. Follow the Pathway of lights, where thousands of dazzling lights brighten Confederation Boulevard and the many significant sites along the way. 
  2. Discover the groomed multi-use winter trail network.
  3. Explore Shirleys Bay in the Greenbelt, on cross-country skis.
  4. Visit the Canadian History Museum in person, or virtually in the comfort of your own home.
  5. Go for a 5.5-km winter hike at Green’s Creek.
  6. Take part in one of the virtual workshops presented by the Friends of Gatineau Park (registration required).
  7. Play detective, and identify animal tracks in the snow. (Read this blog before you begin!)
  8. Try snow biking in Gatineau Park.
  9. Take a stroll along Confederation Boulevard, and discover the monuments in the Capital.
  10. Use the City of Ottawa’s interactive map to find an outdoor municipal skating rink near you.
  11. Discover the ruins at the Mackenzie King Estate (bonus: leashed dogs are welcome).
  12. Learn the basics of forest wilderness survival to help you plan safe and fun outings this winter.
  13. Become a budding speleologist, with a visit to the cave at Arbraska Laflèche.
  14. Make your own maple taffy at home.
  15. Thank a member of the Gatineau Park trail maintenance team for their excellent work.
  16. Take part in the next virtual NCC Urbanism Lab event.
  17. Try “A Prime Minister’s Backyard” cross-country ski route in Gatineau Park.
  18. Take a trip down the Rideau Canal Skateway, and stop at attractions along each kilometre of the world’s largest skating rink.
  19. Go in search of public art works in the Capital (here’s one to start with: The Gather-Ring).
  20. Tackle the Wolf Trail loop on snowshoes — a great physical challenge!
  21. Make a snow angel or build a snow person in one of the Capital’s urban parks.
  22. Explore the winter trails on foot, skis or snowshoes at the Centre de plein air du Lac-Leamy (website in French only).
  23. Enjoy the beauty of frozen waterfalls at Rideau Falls Park or Hog’s Back Park.
  24. Toboggan down a snowy slope in the Greenbelt.
  25. Visit one of the 10 best skating rinks in the Outaouais region.
  26. Contribute to scientific research by looking for plant and animal species in your neighbourhood — in collaboration with the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Observation Nation program.
  27. Explore the groomed multi-use winter trail network in Ottawa and Gatineau. There are over 100 km of trails for shared winter recreational activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking and walking.
  28. Hit the slopes, and enjoy downhill skiing or snowboarding at Camp Fortune.
  29. Take a self-guided tour, and learn more about the Greenbelt’s Stony Swamp, Pine Grove and Mer Bleue Bog.
  30. Discover the remarkable trees of the National Capital Region, using our interactive map to plan your route — and discover them at your own pace.
  31. Watch a virtual performance through the National Arts Centre and #CanadaPerforms.
  32. Go for a walk in a winter wonderland.
  33. Give birding a try, and see if you can identify at least one bird species in the region (please be respectful and unobtrusive, and observe birds from a distance).
  34. Spend Friday evenings snowshoeing under the stars.
  35. Try a new activity in Gatineau Park, starting at the Relais plein air.